Thursday, February 14, 2019

Overheard at the Counter: Valentine's Day at the Gas Station

"on the way home I stopped to get gas and I'm standing there filling the tank and I see a twentysomethign woman in a mini van in front of me and on the other side of the pump there is another minivan, with an older man getting out and they are both filling their tank, and then the woman takes a young boy - about five - out of her mini van and takes him to the older man, who takes the boy's hand and puts him in his car. 

"and I'm thinking 'is this a child trafficking thing?' What should I do?  Then I'm thinking that this looks like a woman who's letting her father, the kid's grandfather, take the kid.  I mean, it's Valentine's Day, maybe she's going out to dinner with her husband.  Or maybe this older guy is her ex-husband, maybe he's the child's father.  I mean, the kid is hugging him and smiling.

"... and then I'm thinking, 'What makes people fall in love?' 'What makes people fall out of love?'

"What makes people move their kid from one car to another at a gas station?  What have we done when we move our kids around like we would bags of cat food?

"Why are we so blasé about our relationships?  Why are they so easy?  Why do we so easily forget all the promises that we made that we imagine we would keep?  What happens to those dreams?

"and at that moment, I just want to get home, and tell my wife that I love her, tell my kids that I love them... before the moment comes that they or I or any of us switches from one car to another, and we are strapped into the child's seat and driven away, toward some distant unknown sunset."

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